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Greensill Steps Into Early Wage Access With Latest SoftBank Backing

SoftBank

The SoftBank Vision Fund has invested an additional $655 million in supply chain financing firm Greensill Capital, just months after contributing an $800 million investment in an earlier funding round.

Reports in Crunchbase on Monday (Oct. 28) said Greensill Capital has now raised a combined $1.7 billion, the vast majority of which has come from SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

“Proceeds will primarily be used to accelerate Greensill’s international expansion plans and to finance strategic acquisitions of complementary businesses into the Greensill family, continuing its track record of disrupting traditional financing,” Greensill said in an announcement on its website.

The company also announced the acquisition of FreeUp, a FinTech connecting workers to early access to earned wages.

In a statement, Lex Greensill, founder and CEO, said the takeover pulls in another dimension of Greensill’s supplier financing operations.

“Essentially, all workers are suppliers — supplying their employers with their time and skills,” he said. “There is effectively no difference between our firm making an early invoice payment and making an early salary payment.”

He added, “With the IP we are acquiring from FreeUp along with our own technology and expertise, our global network of clients and the financial support of SoftBank Investment Advisers, manager of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we see the potential to revolutionize the way workers are paid around the world.”

The Financial Times first reported earlier this month that Greensill had planned to secure new funding from SoftBank.

The funding comes at a time when SoftBank’s Vision Fund has been called into question by some analysts as it continues to support WeWork following its failed initial public offering. Last week SoftBank announced its takeover of WeWork for $1.7 billion, with some analysts warning the WeWork saga could be a cautionary tale of over-valued tech startups.

The investment also comes as analyst are increasingly scrutinizing supply chain financing, how it should be recorded on company financials, whether it should be classified as debt, how it impacts the ability for investors to accurately assess the financial standing of a company and whether it’s contributing to lengthening supplier payment terms.

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